Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Photographic decisions

click photo to enlarge
Every time we take a photograph we make decisions. If we assume that we've already decided the nature of the subject then the first one concerns what part of our field of view we will use as the composition or whether we will we use it all. Having decided that we have to consider what we want to say through the photograph - what it's about. Is it representational reportage where the subject is all important and we are saying, "look at this", to the viewer? Is the way we show the subject, the viewpoint we adopt, the way we use light, composition, colour etc. important, so that the image us as much about the photographers vision as it is the subject, and we are inviting the viewer to look at the subject in our particular way? Or is there an intention to introduce an element of abstraction, to make the viewer wonder what they are looking at and why the image was conceived in that way? There are other decisions to be made, of course, but these three interest me because I deliberately exploit them all at various times in my photography.

Today's photograph falls into the last of these three categories. I took it one evening in London as I looked up at the darkening sky with its pink-tinged clouds and their reflection on the glass of the office buildings. I wanted to make a photograph with very little in it, that concentrated on just a few elements arranged in a simple composition. Moreover, I was keen to produce an image where the component parts would be appreciated for their intrinsic graphic qualities rather than because they were part of the recognisable, real world. The shot I came up with is divided into two halves by a diagonal line, sky and clouds on one side, glass, glazing bars and cladding on the other. It contrasts softness and irregularity with hardness and regular linearity, the colours o the sky and their reflections uniting the two halves, with an element of abstraction to complete the mix.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12.8mm (60mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: 2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 400
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On